Creative therapy gave me ‘an interest in living’

13th August 2016

Our Saturday Social Group is for patients who have been discharged from Day Hospice because they are stable but still benefit from social support. They meet monthly at St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester.

Betty Daniels, 80, from Worcester, writes about what St Richard’s and the  Social Group means to her:

“I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2009 and started chemotherapy which resulted in severe side effects.  One lasting side effect is osteoporosis in my spine which gives me a lot of pain and means that I am unable to walk more than a few yards unaided.  Fortunately the chemotherapy was successful and my cancer has been in remission for more than 6 years.

I became a day patient at St Richard’s in 2010 and had several home visits from a Nurse Specialist who arranged for me to get walking aids and equipment and gave my husband (who is my full-time carer) and I lots of helpful advice, such as applying for attendance allowance, which has helped us enormously.

Attending St. Richard’s made a very big difference to me.  I was unable to bath at home so I really looked forward to my weekly bath at the hospice.  I also looked forward to my hairdressing appointments with Lyn the lovely hairdresser.  I had several sessions of reflexology which I found very helpful.  Most of all I enjoyed the craft table with the creative therapist who really got me into water colour painting and other handicrafts.  This gave me an interest in living again and I’ve never looked back.

I have attended the Saturday Social Club since its inception – you might say that I was a founder member.

The group consists of men and women who have been former day hospice patients.  There are usually about 10 or 12 of us with about six volunteers and a nurse who looks after us and arranges the entertainment.

I enjoy the companionship most of all.  I seldom get out otherwise so the Saturday club is a very welcome diversion.  Just being able to chat and exchange views with like-minded people is wonderful.

I would say to others who were considering attending “Do come and join us, we are a very friendly and welcoming group and have lots of fun.  There is always someone ready to listen to you if you wish to talk and we will give you the benefit of our experience where we can.  We are far from gloomy and feeling sorry for ourselves. We have a craft table for anyone who is interested in crafts and I am always ready to give advice and assistance in such things as needle felting, water colour painting and making gift bags and boxes.